Hand Sew A Pillow Closed – An Easy Tutorial
Recently, I shared with you how to make a pillow, but in that post I didn’t go into the different ways to close a pillow once you’ve made the cover and inserted the pillow form. There are several ways to close a pillow – you can machine stitch the bottom edges closed, insert a zipper, or you can use my favorite method – hand sew a pillow closed using a ladder stitch. That’s the method I’ll be sharing with you today.
Be sure to check out our popular How To Make Pillows page for over 25 pillow ideas, tips & techniques.
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How To Hand Sew A Pillow Closed
MATERIALS NEEDED TO HAND-SEW A PILLOW CLOSED
- Pillow form – I really like Fairfield’s Soft Touch polyester forms
- Dual Duty Plus Hand Quilting thread that matches fabric
- Hand-sewing needle – the ones that I like to use are John James Long Darners #7
- Leather thimble from Clover
- Sewing kit – This is a great little sewing kit that has everything you need to hand-sew your pillow closed, and would be useful to have while traveling.
Here’s a short video I did showing how to hand sew a pillow closed using the ladder stitch. Written instructions are below the video.
1) Before hand sewing a pillow closed, I recommend serging the bottom edges of the pillow. This will help keep the edges of the fabric from fraying.
2) After serging the bottom edges, sew a stitching line 3/8″ away from edges of fabric along the bottom side. This will give you a good guideline for making your 1/2″ fold/seam allowance.
3) Starting at the right side of the pillow – take a small stitch on one side of the fabric. Then take another stitch directly across on the other side of the pillow.
4) Continue on across the bottom edge of the pillow from right to left.
5) When you get to the left side of the pillow, make a knot.
Here you can see the bottom of the finished pillow closed with the ladder stitch. The ladder stitch really does make a nice closure for the pillow. Hard to tell that it isn’t a regular machine-stitched seam.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my how to hand-sew a pillow closed tutorial!
If you loved this pillow tutorial, you’ll love these pillow tutorials too:
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I’m joining these parties.
I am so impressed! I look forward to reading your blog.
This is my favorite hand stitch – and I’ve been looking for a good tutorial and this is the best one I’ve found! And I LOVE your thimble…you mean business!
Thanks Bia! This is my favorite hand stitch too. I do mean business with my thimble!
Your video was extremely helpful since I am a visual learner. Thank you for sharing that wonderful way to close an opening. I’ll be sure to use it in the future.
Thanks Mel! I am a visual learner too. I do so much better with a video than even pictures.
Hi Jann, thanks so much for sharingfabulous and helpful vídeo!
Hope you have a good weekend!
Hugs from Portugal,
Thanks Ana, I’m glad you enjoyed it!
This is always tricky for me. Stopping by from the Pin Me linky and pinning! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by Jen!
Thanks Kelly, I am so glad it was helpful to you!
Oh my goodness….thanks so much for making this tut on hand closing pillows. I am a basic level sewer and have always struggled on how to professionally close a pillow without seeing the thread. Glad I found your site from a share on It’s Overflowing. Am your newest fan!
Great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing.
Thanks for checking out my tutorial Allison!
I love this! I often am frustrated with my hand stitching when I sew pillows, but this looks like a great solution!
Thanks Megan! I am so glad this tutorial was helpful to you. It really is a great way to close your pillows.
Thanks Diana, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks again for hosting your party.
Thank you so much for sharing this on Tutorial Thursdays. Please do come by and place your vote on your favourite link from last week, it may be featured if it wins the voting! I look forward to seeing what you share with us this week 🙂
I’m so glad you posted the video–that’s very helpful for sewers with not much experience like myself! I’m stopping by from Inspire Me Please (#2 Budget Bathroom Makeover and 11 Inspiring Ideas) Have a great weekend!
Thanks Carrie! I’m glad I could help. Thanks for stopping by.
That’s a great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing it on the #LOBS!
Thanks Angela! I appreciate you stopping by to check it out.
Looks easy but not sure if it’s as easier in practical. Got to try this. Glad you share this on the #LOBS.
Thanks for this tip! My daughter makes pillows often, but I have been to intimidated to try it. (Mainly because I didn’t know how to close it! I’m going to pin this. Stopped by from the LOBS.
Thanks Pam! Yes, closing the pillow is probably the trickiest part. I’m glad this will help.
You make this look so easy! Wondering if I could pull it off. I’ve bookmarked as I need to redo a few decor pillows. Thanks for linking it up at LOBS!
Wow, I never knew how to do that, thanks.
Jamie, I’m glad it was helpful!
Very nice tutorial. What type of needle do you recommend and prefer? I noticed yours was quite long.
Thanks Nanci! I use John James Long Darners size #7.
As a new father, I’ve found myself needing to repair things here and there from an active toddler & the power tools are no help. =P
Thanks for this very helpful tutorial.
I’m glad it was helpful!
Great tutorial. I will be featuring this tonight at my Fall into Fall party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I’ve Been Featured button. Thanks. http://diybydesign.blogspot.com
Thanks Judy! I really appreciate being featured!
Thank you so much for the tutorial! On my way to sew closed my little one’s tooth fairy pillow!
What a sweet project to work on! I’m glad the tutorial was helpful to you!
Thank You! So much for the tutorial! The Ladder stitch is such a handsome stitch! I used it to sew the reverse on the bias binding around a pillow, and the stitch is indiscernible from the machine stitched side. I will be using this stitch for a lot of my hand- stitched finishings. I am extremely happy with the results.
I’m so glad this tutorial was helpful! It really is a great stitch to use for all kinds of projects.
I would love for you to stop by my blog and join our link party Something to talk About!
Have a great day and hope to see you there!
So glad you left a tutorial video. Videos are so much easier to understand and follow. Thank you for sharing your expertise!
Thanks for sharing at Inspire Me Mondays!
Thanks Brandi! I agree, I learn so much better if I can watch a video tutorial.
I always use this method to close my pillows. It is also a quick removal if you need to change the cover. And not as labor intense as adding a zipper.
Donna, those are exactly the reasons I use this method for closing a pillow!
What a great tutorial. Your pillow looks like you bought it–I need to learn this technique!
Thanks Jennie! Give it a try, it’s really not too hard.
Thank you for adding a video to this post. I love sowing but haven´t sown anything for years. This post makes me want to again!! 🙂
Thanks Johlene! I’m a visual learner, so I think having a video to show the steps is easier to understand.
I remember learning the ladder stitch and thinking it was pure genius. 🙂 Such a useful stitch and tutorial.
Thanks Lisa! Yes, it is a very useful stitch to know.
I have a quick question. where can I buy the pillow shells to make my own stuffed pillows. I just need plain white ones and all I can find on the net are pillow protectors. I need the inner casing. Thanks
KJ, are you needing pillow forms? If so, there is a link in this post to my favorite pillow forms from Fairfield.
Thank you so much for your clear videos! I’m very very new to sewing, but with two of your hand-sewing tutorials, I made my own decorative pillow, and it looks great! Couldn’t have done it without you!
Thanks Emily! You’ve made my day! I’m so glad the videos were helpful!
Your pillow is gorgeous! I love the fabric.
Awesome video! I’ve always wondered how to do that!
Keep up the hard work 😀
Thanks Karen! I’m glad it was helpful!
Love your tutorial and thimble. I can never keep a metal one on my finger. Where can I find a leather one like yours?
Vickie, there’s a link to the thimble is the materials needed section of this post. Thanks!
I am trying to view your video on How to hand sew a pillow closed but the video I get is your How to make a shirt pillow. I don’t think that you will show how to sew a pillow closed on a video for how to make a shirt pillow. What am I miss going here?
Thank you and kind regards,
Lita, thanks for catching this. I have uploaded the correct video about how to hand sew a pillow closed.
very good information. thank you